RAF Kenley Airfield – the most intact fighter airfield from World War II – will be returned to its former glory for a free and spectacular ‘Sky Heroes’ event on Sunday 10 September, showcasing the site’s important Battle of Britain history and centenary as part of the Kenley Revival Project.
The Project, which is a partnership between the City of London Corporation, Kenley Airfield Friends Group, Historic England and made possible thanks to support from National Lottery players, aims to preserve and protect the heritage of the airfield, which played a unique and important role in defending Britain from the German Luftwaffe. As the UK’s most complete surviving Battle of Britain fighter airfield, it gives a direct and tangible link to the UK’s aviation past.
During the Second World War, RAF Kenley was one of the three main fighter stations (Kenley, Croydon and Biggin Hill) responsible for the air defence of London. During the Battle of Britain, these three RAF stations became prominent because of their role in defending London against Nazi German fighter planes.
Sky Heroes is free to attend and will bring Kenley’s Battle of Britain history to life with guided tours, museum and archaeology stands and pilot re-enactors including replica Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes where visitors can sit in the cockpit and have their photo taken.
For those who want to connect with science and nature or become the next Howard Carter, the world-famous British archaeologist, there will be fun activities around the archaeology of the area. And for Winston Churchill fans, it’s an opportunity to explore the airfield where he learnt to fly.
The day also includes fascinating Battle of Britain memorabilia housed in the historic Portcullis Club, the meeting place for the Kenley & Caterham branch of the Royal Air Forces Association.
There will be two land trains operating a hop on and hop off service around the airfield to help explore the site.
Limited free grass parking is available on site and a free shuttle bus service will be operating from nearby train stations.
The City of London Corporation and its partners in the Kenley Revival Project have secured £880,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Together with money raised by Kenley Airfield Friends Group and others, the total funding amounts to over £1.1m.
The City of London Corporation manages the adjoining Kenley Common, and over 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England. It aims to fulfil its historic role as the steward of the unique heritage of the Square Mile and beyond, recognising the importance of heritage to the UK’s national life and identity. Its green spaces, which include Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They are funded by over £29million a year from the City of London Corporation, together with donations, sponsorship, grants and income generated on site.
For more details about the Kenley Revival Project and to stay updated on future news and events, sign up to the newsletter at www.kenleyrevival.org.